Virginia Democratic candidates Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax, and Mark Herring will be featured at a “Meet-and-Greet” gathering on Sunday, August 20 at the Accomack County Airport. Scheduled from 1-3 pm, the event is a chance for all Virginia voters (and voters-to-be) to meet and discuss issues with the Democratic candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, and with Willie Randall, candidate for the House of Delegates. The program will be moderated by Senator Lynwood Lewis.
Born in Nassawadox, gubernatorial candidate Ralph Northam grew up on the Eastern Shore and attended Accomack County public schools rather than attending the private “Academy” system as many privileged Virginians did. He graduated with distinction from Virginia Military Institute, then from Eastern Virginia Medical School. He served eight years of active duty in the Army, treating soldiers injured in Desert Storm and rising to the rank of major. Virginia’s Lieutenant Governor since 2013, he also is Assistant Professor of Neurology at Eastern Virginia Medical School.
His platform focuses on developing an economy that serves all Virginians (including bringing fast internet service to rural area such as the Shore;) advancing healthcare by improving the Affordable Care Act and expanding Medicaid; improving veteran healthcare and job opportunities; enhancing the quality of Virginia’s education system, and protecting the environment (with particular focus on the Bay.)
Presently in private law practice, Lieutenant Governor candidate Justin Fairfax was raised by a single mother and graduated from Duke University and Columbia law school. He has served in all three branches of government, including as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and the Deputy Coordinator of the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force. He was Co-chair of Senator Warner’s successful reelection campaign.
In 2013, he lost a very close primary race for Attorney General against Mark Herring, earning the endorsement of The Washington Post and gleaning more than 48% percent of the vote. His platform’s top priority is bringing high-paying jobs to Virginia and strengthening the middle class. As a small business owner, he’s committed to ensuring an environment where businesses can hire and thrive. He’s also a fierce advocate for criminal justice reform and college affordability.
This will be his second recent visit to the Eastern Shore; he was the featured speaker a year ago at the Accomack County Democratic Committee’s meeting.
Mark Herring has served as Virginia’s Attorney General since 2013. Raised by a single mother in Loudoun County, he worked construction and other jobs to help pay for college. His priorities as Attorney General have included vigorous prosecution of heroin dealers, violent gang members, gun runners, human traffickers, and online child exploitation; helping survivors of sexual assault by eliminating a three-decade-old backlog of untested rape kits; promoting commonsense gun safety laws, like universal background checks; facilitating debt relief and restitution (more than $100 million) for veterans and military families, and establishing a Medicaid Fraud unit that has saved taxpayers more than $60 million.
Just 12 days into his term, General Herring became the first attorney general to successfully argue that his state’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples should be struck down.